Austerity risks Britain’s response to environmental challenges

Severe cuts to the budget of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) will seriously undermine Britain’s ability to effectively respond to crises, such as floods, tree diseases and food contamination, concludes a report produced by the House of Commons.

 According to the report, “[t]he Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is one of the smallest of Government Departments but it has faced among the most substantial budget cuts, which are set to continue up to 2016. The Department spent just under £2.5 billion in 2012-13. Its budget has been cut by £500 million since the 2010 Spending Review and it will face another reduction of £300 million in the years up to 2015-16. This raises some concerns—in the last year Defra has had to respond to floods, horsemeat contamination, and ash dieback. Its ability to respond to emergencies such as these must be protected. Clarity is required from the Secretary of State about precisely which policies and programmes will face significant budget reductions in the next two financial years.”

Sources: House of CommonsThe Guardian.

Last modified onSaturday, 03 January 2015 13:55
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